Day by Day

Saturday, June 04, 2005

First Impressions

Hey everyone. Things are finally starting to come together down in sunny Puerto Rico. I won't go into detail with everything I've done and seen so far, but here are a few brief items that I've noticed so far.

Driving - the "rules of the road" down here are more like mild suggestions, which everyone promptly forgets the moment they get behind the wheel. Traffic lights, driving lanes, and speed limit signs are all things that native Puerto Ricans pay absolutely no attention to whatsoever. Driving in South Korea was worse, but this runs a close second. To survive down here you drive as if everyone is trying to kill you, which may or may not be the truth, but I can't tell from the way people act in their cars. In any case, take your average American, run him through a four-week no sleep speedball bender and then put him in a car. That would be your average Puerto Rican driver.

It's fucking HOT! I knew it was going to be hot and humid before I came down here, but knowing about the heat and humidity isn't anything like actually living in it. I'm drinking at least a gallon of water a day, most of the time it's more like two gallons. I sweat so much I turn into the human waterfall. Even the Puerto Ricans sweat down here. It's insane.

Once you get out of the city, it's beautiful. In the city, it looks like a bombed out third world country in some areas, and like a tourist trap in other areas, with a few nice looking areas mixed in for color. It's an odd mix. The country is beautiful. El Yunque Rain Forest was breathtaking.

Individuals down here are some of the most helpful people you can meet. Almost every person I've met on a one-on-one basis has been great. That being said, doing business with a company in this country makes me want to throw up. Puerto Rico Telephone acts like a communist run organization who regards their customers as a nuisance rather than actual customers. When the people in the company are almost hostile to you when you call up, you know that it's going to be a bitch. Nothing gets done without either a damn long wait, or a lot of yelling. The cable company was a bit better, and the base is paying for our electricity, thank goodness. That's one less hassle to deal with.

Oh, by the way, when a soldier starts talking about how dealing with the US Army is less hassle than the civilian equivalent, be scared. Be very, very scared.

And don't even get me started on the transportation company. Let's just say that I'm not allowed to talk to people in that office any more. My first line supervisor is going to do all the talking while I glower behind him. And I'm not the only person who's had problems with them, I'm just the latest in a long line of US soldiers. The guy before me was actually pushed out the door by his supervisor, who then came back and informed these people, "Listen, I have a pissed off sergeant who is about to go off, and if you don't give him his truck right now, I'm going to let him back in to do whatever the hell he wants."

It's probably a good thing that I'm going to be busy Monday. My wife will be picking up my truck, unless they get stupid and force me to come back to the office.

I need to brush up on news and politics, because I've spent the past month so damn busy that I haven't had time to breath, much less watch the news. We finally got cable TV installed, so that I can watch the news while I exercise in the morning. One thing that I do recall is Mad Howie Dean blathering to some group of fuckwits about the "dark plan that Republicans had for America".

I had to laugh. President Bush talks about freedom, and the Donks call it a dark plan. President Bush talks about owning your own retirement funds, and the Democrats call it a dark plan. Well, I guess when you're nothing but a fucking parasite who's entire life depends on you sucking off of my tax dollars, I suppose that me being allowed to keep my own money would be a dark plan for you.

President Bush nominates judges who actually follow the Constitution, and the Democrats call it a dark plan. Well, when you can't get your socialist dreams through congress, and can only enforce your ideology through judicial fiat, I suppose Constitutionalist judges are a pretty dark plan for you.

At this point, you can almost hear the Democrat Party's foundations cracking. But when you do nothing but pander to communist fuck-nozzles and anti-American shitheels, you're bound to have problems sooner or later. At this point, I can't say that I'm sad to see them destroy themselves. I just wonder who will spring up in their place.

So anyways, as you can see, I'm pretty much set up. You can expect regular posts from me again. I trust I'll have plenty to get outraged about.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Looked at Henry Aaron's hitting stats lately?

Probably not, why would you?

Well, I was surfing and came upon them. 1955 through 1973 inclusive, Aaron averaged about 145 of 160 games played per year and while doing so averaged about 35 homeruns a year. Just thought you'd wanna know.

War Torn Iraq

Pictures of the devastation born of our occupation (that the recentely elected Iraqi government just requested we maintain) --> Here Notice the high definition flat panel televisions. Mmmmmmmmm.

From the "Where Are They Now" files...

Jeff Baxter played psychedelic music with Ultimate Spinach, jazz-rock with Steely Dan and funky pop with the Doobie Brothers. But in the last few years he has made an even bigger transition: Mr. Baxter, who goes by the nickname "Skunk," has become one of the national-security world's well-known counterterrorism experts.



Baxter is the one with the facial hair.

WSJ.com - Rocker Jeff Baxter Moves and Shakes In National Security

Seen on Powerline

Lies and Damned Lies

Regarding those dual use facilities, equipment, and chemicals that were:

- dangerous when Rummy sold them to Iraq decades ago,

- ceased being dangerous when Bush Lied and People Died, and

- are now dangerous yet again:

AlphaPatriot has a solid post up. Make sure you read the linked AlphaPatriot (I almost just abbreviated "AP", then realized the undesirable connotation of same) post regarding Syria's Bekaa Valley. It's the kind of reporting one would once see reporters doing, back when reporters still reported.

U.N. - Weapons Equipment Missing in Iraq

Something else for the left to ignore:

He said the missing material can be used for legitimate purposes. "However, they can also be utilized for prohibited purposes if in a good state of repair."


Sure it could have been used for "legitimate purposes". But, seeing as Saddam felt it necessary to scuttle it away before the war, it obviously was not. As this is coming from the vaunted U.N. weapons inspectors, the fantasy based community will be confounded!

Missing in Aruba



Aruba's hunt for missing teen intensifies

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Border Volunteers Not So Welcomed in Texas

The proverbial Money Quote:

"I don't think that there's any doubt that there's a tinge of racism beneath the surface in their attempt to try to stop immigrants from Mexico. Why don't they do that in Canada?"

-- Texas state Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D)
Classic.

Yahoo! News

To the Gulag with him!

Oy!

One hundred days into his tenure as the high-energy, higher-decibel chairman of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean is in trouble with party moneybags. The former Vermont governor seems to be doing a better job flaying the Republicans than bridging the cash chasm between the parties. Given Dean's 2004 run as a populist crusader, moderates were never wild about his takeover of the Democratic National Committee. So some big donors are sitting on their wallets.
Oh, dear.

But hey just kidding about the Gulag - the vein popping twit will disappear himself just by running his yap. It's one thing that American Leftists are really and truly good at.



So long, Harmless!

Howard Dean's Raised Voice Isn't Raising Cash

About that Gulag....

Who is Amnesty International donating to?

Nothing beats rock

Drumwaster finds an interesting irony.

Buyin' votes...

...in East St. Louis:

She said Ellis, a party stalwart and then director of regulatory affairs, told Kern he was perceived in the predominantly-black community as a "racist' and might need to spend $10 per vote to get support. She said Ellis described a need "to pay the voters to come out."
Oy!

Gateway Pundit: ESL Makes Voter Fraud a Business

Seen on Instapundit

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Circus Blogging

Went to a circus this past weekend. Here are some pics.


This guy was walking blindfolded on some rotating drum that was
about 30 feet up. Later, he and his wife did the old "motorcycles
in an iron sphere" thing.



Colonel Hanneford tries to mount his smiling horse just moments
after said horse had removed the good Colonel's pants.



This woman juggled hoops and flaming torches 25 feet above the
ring while suspended by her hair. It was great.



Pardon both my Fascism as well as my indelicacy, if you please,
but any comments regarding Molly Ivins, Barb Mikulski, and
Ted Kennedy sans strap-ons will be deleted as soon as i
stop laughing at them.


What a show!

Bosom Buddies

Tremendous pair of finds by Lee at Right Thinking.

Pacifism and the War

"Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security. Mr Savage remarks that ‘according to this type of reasoning, a German or Japanese pacifist would be “objectively pro-British”.’ But of course he would be! That is why pacifist activities are not permitted in those countries (in both of them the penalty is, or can be, beheading) while both the Germans and the Japanese do all they can to encourage the spread of pacifism in British and American territories. The Germans even run a spurious ‘freedom’ station which serves out pacifist propaganda indistinguishable from that of the P.P.U. They would stimulate pacifism in Russia as well if they could, but in that case they have tougher babies to deal with. In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism."

-- George Orwell

Poor little Lionel Tate

Really couldn't hold him accountable for killing that 6 year old girl, you know. Here's how Amnesty International UK covered the little darling's release from a life sentence for killing a girl he outweighed by 130 pounds:

While remaining fully mindful of the tragedy that befell Tiffany Eunick and her family, Amnesty International has campaigned on Lionel Tate's behalf since before his sentencing.

Lionel Tate's lawyer has asked for his thanks to be passed to all who took action on the teenager's behalf. In a message just received, the lawyer writes:

"Thanks again. Your entire organisation is to be commended for the help and assistance. Your organisation 'kept the spotlight' on this case and assisted us in favorably resolving this matter. Lionel shall be out of jail before his 17th birthday. Your support helped make the difference. Please let everyone know of our thanks. In light of the good work you all do, I trust we shall soon again join together to fight for children's lives."

The lawyer has also expressed his deep thanks for the 3,000 cards and letters for Lionel Tate from children and others that have been received at the lawyer's office, and which in themselves generated media attention in Florida.
Little Lionel's in trouble again.

Screw Newsweek

The Madison Avenue Maverick has a good thing going. They are keeping track of Newsreek's advertisers so you don't have to. Now you can voice your displeasure where it will not be ignored, and exercise your freedom of choice in how you spend your hard-earned money in a more informed way. (Dang! Both Microsoft and Apple are listed. Guess it's time to give Linux a try.) As the Maverick herself puts it, "Newsweek’s real customers are its advertisers. So as I see it, when our mainstream media starts to take after the late Lord Haw Haw, it’s time to take serious action. For now, that means encouraging Newsweek’s advertisers not to associate their brands with such an irresponsible, seditious media outlet."

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Death of a Marine

On the day he died, Rafael Peralta was 25 years old, a Mexican immigrant from San Diego who had enlisted in the Marines as soon as he became a legal resident. He earned his citizenship while on active duty and re-upped in 2004. He was a Marine to the core, so meticulous that when Alpha Company was training in Kuwait, he would send his camouflage uniform out to be pressed.

He was no less passionate about his adopted country: His bedroom wall was adorned with a picture of his boot camp graduation and replicas of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. ''Be proud of being an American," he wrote to his kid brother Ricardo, 14. ''Our father came to this country and became a citizen because it was the right place for our family to be." It was the first letter he ever wrote to Ricardo -- and the last. It arrived in San Diego the day after he died.
Go'head. Read more.

Jeff Jacoby: Death of a Marine

The Arlington Ladies

Amazing story.

ONE AFTERNOON towards the end of March, 200 mourners slowly trekked under a bright blue sky to the plot where 20-year-old Army Pfc. Michael Anthony Arciola was about to become the 123rd soldier killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Arciola, a recipient of both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, was shot and killed on patrol in Al Ramadi on February 15. The larger than usual crowd was no surprise. The young man had been so well loved in his hometown of Elmsford, New York, that more than a thousand people came to his memorial service there. Dying young carries with it an implicit sense of tragedy that draws people -- emotionally and physically -- to it.

Nevertheless, Pfc. Arciola was not the only one laid to rest that Friday at Arlington. Sixteen other servicemen, most of them veterans many years older than Arciola, were likewise buried. An average week at Arlington will see between 80 and 100 burials on its 612 acres, and the final week of March was within that margin. Arciola's funeral was the largest the cemetery had held in a few weeks. Others attracted dozens or fewer mourners. A smattering had no friends or loved ones in attendance at all.

As in most matters, however, the military prefers to focus on cohesion rather than dissension; on the ties that bind rather than the walls that separate. This is as true of funerals as it is of boot camp. Most people are aware of one aspect of this, the Honor Guard. But there is another unifying element, much less publicized than the 21-gun salute, but just as important in both a practical and symbolic sense. It comes in the form of a conservatively dressed woman who -- whether amongst a throng of mourners, seated alongside the family, or standing as the sole attendee -- is there to help shepherd the fallen soldier during his final mile.

These volunteer women are known as "The Arlington Ladies." They attend every funeral at Arlington to ensure, first and foremost, that no soldier is ever buried with no one in attendance, and second, to serve the needs of family members, whether they are present at the funeral or not.

Normally it isn't difficult to get someone to go on record about a noble pursuit. The first reaction to the prospect of a laudatory article is rarely reticence. But this group of no-nonsense women did not jump at the chance to talk about themselves. In fact, they were surprisingly difficult to track down at all. This is probably at least partially because the vast majority of Arlington Ladies are either retired servicewomen themselves or from military families, a culture not given to bragging.

"They don't seek publicity," Army Major Kevin Stroop, a regimental chaplain who performs funerals at Arlington, said. "What they do here is absolutely vital to our mission, but those moments they share with the families and our servicemen and women are intensely personal. The Arlington Ladies, as a group, really are committed to keeping those moments and their work sacred."
Amazing people.

The American Spectator

Monday, May 30, 2005

Have some Links

It seems to me that controlling our borders would be a priority in winning the WOT, therefore, I'm with these guys: Minuteman Project,
and these guys, too: Veterans for Secure Borders.

Here you will find an English translation of the al Qaeda training manual, wherein they are instructed to claim "abuse" upon release.

Here is a breakdown of the countries who armed Saddam's regime.

It wasn't very long ago that many prominent demonrats were making alarming claims about Saddam's WMD.

Let's not forget how the NY Times ran the story of the century, "Abu Ghraib," on their front page (almost all above the fold) for 32 consecutive days, yet they couldn't care less about the beheadings and other atrocities done by those on the other side.

Here is the text of the Geneva Conventions, which explicitly do NOT protect terrorists. To understand why the Geneva Conventions do not protect illegal combatants, please read this.

Here is the best 9-11 website ever created.

And finally, your required reading for today: Orson Scott Card. Enjoy.

Viva l'Evolution

Finally, a theory of evolution I can fully endorse. Via QuickRob's Weblog: "The wall between the reporter and the consumer is eroding. And, most fundamentally, the readers and the consumers are climbing that very wall and they are taking control of the flow of information. The filter is being removed from the system, and now the flow will be pure. What we do with it is up to us, but the new system…the blogging system, by it’s very nature should be able to sustain the purity of the information simply by the theory of evolution. What is false, and what is adulterated, will be discounted. A million minds at once will edit."

Kind of gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, doesn't it?